The study of geography is one that
could should be full of fun and games! Problem with doing this is most of us were taught through books only and coming up with the fun way to teach is where we are caught up. I want to share with you the fun we have while teaching geography, so you can enjoy teaching your children in a way that will bring smiles to their faces.
Here are tip for using puzzles to teach geography:
- I use a puzzle that shows mountain ranges, rivers and individual pieces for each state or country.
- Prior to dumping the pieces, I have my son look at the puzzle and name the mountain ranges. For the US, it would be the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains and the Great Plains, noticing the details of each on the puzzle as a whole.
- Starting with the state the child lives in, talk about the states that surround them, maybe even pointing out the states you, as a family have traveled to together or separate. Point out the states that may be of interest, for instance our son loves football, so we talk about the teams in each state or where his favorite people in history lived.
- Dump the puzzle out and mix the pieces up, but being sure their tops are visible.
- Have the child put the puzzle together as quickly as he/she can. My son enjoys trying to beat his last time, so we use a stop watch for his enjoyment. (This may frustrate some children) I have my child name the state as he places the piece. Once the state is known, we add the capital, then main rivers, landmarks, etc. All of this is being done verbally as the puzzle is being worked on.
- When the child get stuck on a piece, have him take a moment and look at the details of the piece and decide if it would be in the Rockies, Appalachian or part of the plain states. Then looking at the shape of the state, to better place it in the spaces left.
- If a child can't place that piece, have him put it back and pick another piece, coming back when there are more clues to help them be successful.
- Praise the child for accomplishing the puzzle when it is completed.
With using these tips, your child will feel like he is playing (which he will be) giving all his attention and focus to learning the lesson that has been given to him… with easy!